Veteran star Arnold joins Lakestars


Staff Writer

Sharpshooter Wayne Arnold, one of the top all-around performers for the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix during the past three seasons, has joined the Shiga Lakestars. The move became official late Saturday night.

The Tennessee State product averaged 15.0 points per game for the bj-league championship runnerup Phoenix last season. He scored 14.6 ppg for the 2009-10 Hamamatsu squad, which won its first of back-to-back titles under ex-coach Kazuo Nakamura. The next season, Arnold averaged 18.6 ppg and drained 112 of 281 3-pointers. He’s one of the best perimeter shooters in league history, and now joins a Shiga club that lost key shooting guard Yu Okada to the Kyoto Hannaryz.

The 193-cm Arnold was the Sixth Man Award winner in 2010-11.

Eight bj-league teams participated in preseason competition on Saturday, including four teams in the Tohoku Cup in Akita.

The Akita Northern Happinets defeated the visiting Sendai 89ers 86-79 on Saturday evening. It was Akita’s fifth preseason game but only the first for the 89ers.

The game was tied at 73-73 with four minutes remaining. Fourth-quarter turnovers hurt the 89ers, said Sendai coach Bob Pierce, whose team turned the ball over nine times in the final period (20 overall).

Sendai’s Kevin Coble had a game-high 23 points and teammate Sam Coleman scored 22, while Karron Clark had 10. Teammates Sam Willard (seven points, nine rebounds), Takehiko Shimura (six points) and Takuya Komoda (five points) also made solid contributions.

For Akita, Dion Harris poured in 18 points, Jordan DeMercy had 16, Anthony Kent posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds and T.J. Cummings scored 16 points; all four players are newcomers to Nakamura’s club. Kazuhiro Shoji chipped in with seven points and Makoto Kato scored six.

In the earlier Tohoku Cup game, the Iwate Big Bulls routed the Tokyo Cinq Reves 71-47.

Elsewhere, the Shimane Susanoo Magic defeated the visiting Shiga Lakestars 88-81 and the host Oita HeatDevils cruised past the Rizing Fukuoka 96-69.